Auctioneer selling famous painting at Sotheby's

A Guide to Buying Art at Auctions


Interested in attending an art exhibition? Because buying art isn’t as easy as walking into an auction and pointing to the first painting you like; to help you with your decision-making process, below are three basic aspects you should consider before sealing the deal on any piece of art.

1. Do some research on the artist

You would not spend a significant amount of money on a car without having read about it or asking a few questions of the dealer; the same can be said concerning an art piece. You should get as much information as you can about the artist. The longer the artist has been creating and exhibiting art, and the more people who recognise the artist’s name and have good things to say, the better. You should be able to get this information from the collector, who is familiar with the artist or art in question, or from whoever is auctioning the art.

2. Find out about the art’s significance

Whether it is a painting, sculpture or antique, one way you can determine the significance of an art piece is by looking at as much art by the same artist as possible. Ask the person auctioning the art whether it is an original piece or reproduced by mechanical means. For the purpose of collecting, art with original or unique aspects is likely to be more collectible over time than art that emulates or borrows heavily from other styles of art or artists.

3. Determine whether the art is fairly priced

Analysing an asking price is not so much a question of whether the art is a good investment or what it might be worth at some point in the future; that is unpredictable. What you should question is whether it is priced fairly today. It’s a question that must be evaluated because, like anything else on sale, the asking price might be fair, it might be a bargain or it might be overpriced, and it’s up to you to do your research to figure that out. Looking at other art pieces similar or comparable to your art of interest, either by the same or similar artists can help you determine whether the price tag is fair.

After having gone through these points, all this effort to buy a single piece of art may seem a little dreary, but that is far from the truth. Buying art wisely not only becomes second nature once you get good at it; it also becomes a delightful experience. Once you get into the swing of how things work, your quest for knowledge over your artistic interests becomes exciting, and a lot of what you discover is always rewarding.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *